Mrs. Louise Bechtel was born in Elkhart County, Nov. 14, 1851, the

Mrs. Louise Bechtel was born in Elkhart County, Nov. 14, 1851, the daughter of
William and Elizabeth McDowell. She was the last child of a family of five. As a young
woman Mrs. Bechtel was a school teacher. She continued to teach school one year after
her marriage.
On Nov. 23, 1876, she was married to Jeremiah Bechtel. They established their
home on a farm in Union township until Dec. 1, 1892, at which time they moved to
Wakarusa. There they lived happily until Mr. Bechtel passed out of this life on March
25, 1931.
Mrs. Bechtel’s has been a life of ceaseless activity. She dedicated her life to high
ends and faithfully held to her course all the way through. Forty years ago she became a
member of the Methodist church and has been active in all its organizations until failing
health forced her to relinquish some of her duties. She was a charter member of the
Ladies’ Aid Society and president of it for eight years. She was teacher of the Ladies’
Sunday school class for twenty-years. And her influence was felt in every church circle.
She was a regular attendant at the Sunday services and was in her accustomed place two
weeks ago last Sunday.
Saturday evening Mrs. Bechtel suffered a stroke from which she never regained
consciousness. The end came peacefully at 7:45 o’clock on Wednesday evening, Jan. 13,
1932. Her going is a distinct loss to all who have been privileged to know her. But of
her it may be truthfully said, “Blessed are they which die in the Lord, from henceforth:
yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow
them.” Her memory will be a blessing and inspiration to all of us through the years to
Mrs. Bechtel is survived by two children, Harvey S. Bechtel of Wakarusa, who
succeeded his father as president of the Exchange bank, and Mrs. Homer Roose of
Goshen; three grandchildren, Robert Bechtel of Wakarusa; J. Earl Roose of Goshen; and
Mrs. Mary Louise Houston of Cleveland, Ohio; and the following half brothers and
sisters, George M. McDowell of Arkansas City, Kans.; Frank McDowell of Cherokee,
Okla.; Charles McDowell of Seattle, Wash.; Mrs. A. E. L. Danner of Newton, Kansas;
and Mrs. Arthur McMahon of Arkansas City, Kans.
Sister Bechtel did not wish for pomp or power in this life. Her home, her church
were uppermost in her mind. She was in truth a substantial citizen of the community and
always held the respect and friendship of all who knew her.
And we who have known her intimately, long and true, and who have been glad
to call her our Teacher, our Neighbor, and our Friend, now mingle our tears with those
whose more near and dear to her; but the memory of the life and the deeds of this our
mutual friend, is ours to cherish and emulate.
Funeral services were held Saturday afternoon at the home. The Rev. E. E.
Kaufman, pastor of the Methodist church officiating. Burial in the Olive cemetery.